Well, where do I begin?
Let’s go back a few years, to 2012 specifically. I was 19, just about to start my first year of University and begin a new chapter in my life. I had moved out of the family home and was living on my own, with people that I had never met before. I wasn’t exactly a ‘social butterfly’ back then, so when I got dropped off with my luggage in hand, it’s safe to say I was feeling slightly anxious about the whole thing! But, I was ready to turn a new page and throw myself at every new experience that came at me. That’s what University is about, right?
Let’s jump to the beginning of 2013. One of my friends had told me about his summer the previous year. He had worked in a summer camp, as a general councillor. The more we talked about it, the more excited I got. I finally gave in and completed an application form. Long story short, I managed to get placed as a tennis instructor at this amazing place. Tyler Hill Camp.
Now let’s fast forward to 2017. Since going to camp in the summer of 2013, I have been back every year without fail. From my first to my third year, I carried on working as a tennis instructor and for my fourth year I worked as a general councillor, following my group of boys up every summer.
From Freshman B to Juniors, these guys have not only brought out the best in themselves, but they have also brought the best out in me. I would not be who I am today without them, as I am more confident, patient and an all round better person. Seeing those boys leave after 7 weeks is like saying goodbye to brothers, and as much as other councillors try and deny it, there is no stopping the tears when the end of camp comes around!
Each year I go back, I make a whole new group of friends. Camp is the only place I know where you don’t know anyone on the first day and by day three you are all dressed in tight and bright, doing Zumba under the lights and laughing with everyone like you have been best friends for years. I can’t think of any other place where you form bonds as strong as you do at Tyler Hill.
In the four years that I have been going to camp, I have had some of the best experiences of my life, met some incredible people and formed some of my closest friendships. Never would I have thought all those years ago that I would be where I am today. From a nervous first year driving through the gates of Tyler Hill for the first time, to a confident fourth year, running around camp as a Colour War Lieutenant cheering on my team in some of the most outrageous ways possible!
I’ve laughed and I have cried. I’ve cheered and I have danced. This place is in my blood. What I thought was going to be a ‘one summer thing’ turned out to be one of the most important stepping stones in my life. This place is special and I was extremely lucky to be placed here all those years ago.
Shout out to Tyler Hill Camp for showing the most STARFISH.